apothegm

An apothegm is a short instructive saying that's easy to remember and sometimes even slightly witty, like "haste makes waste." An apothegm often expresses a fundamental truth or general rule.

To correctly pronounce apothegm, put the accent on the first syllable and give it the short a sound, as in apple: "A-puh-them." It comes from the Greek word apophthegma, meaning "terse, pointed saying," derived from apo-, meaning "from," and phthengesthai, meaning "to utter."

Definitions of apothegm
1

n a short pithy instructive saying

Synonyms:
aphorism, apophthegm
Type of:
axiom, maxim
a saying that is widely accepted on its own merits

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.